Nuke it: Learn how to maximize your microwave

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 9, 2014

The microwave oven is considered to be one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century; over 90 percent of homes in America have at least one. Microwaves can play an important role at mealtime, speeding up food preparation time. They can have nutritional benefits, as well. Faster cooking helps retain nutrients and allows food to be cooked without added fat.
With all that being said, there are still many people that use their microwave exclusively for reheating beverages, warming up leftovers and popping popcorn, not knowing that they can use their microwave to cook a full course meal. First and foremost, it is very important that you understand that microwave cooking is slightly different from traditional oven cooking. It can be done successfully once you understand how to cook the food safely and properly, while retaining maximum nutrient levels.
It is also important to understand how a microwave cooks; there are certain traits unique to microwave cooking that affect how completely a food is or isn’t cooked, like how the waves of electrical and magnetic energy move together through space. The correct utensil, wraps and cookware are all part of making microwave cooking easier, thus producing tastier food.
So, if you find that you aren’t maximizing your microwave to its great potential, join me on Thursday, May 29, at noon for Microwave Magic.
During this workshop, you will learn how the microwave oven works, the best arrangement of food for more even cooking, how to test containers to see if they are microwave safe, and of course, try a few samples.
Registration is required, and the sessions are free and open to the public. Participants will receive a sampling of food at each session, recipes and other educational materials. The classes will be held at the Rowan County Agriculture Center, 2727 Old Concord Road. Funding for the series is made possible through the Blanche & Julian Robertson Family Foundation.
To reserve your seat, call 704-216-8970 by Tuesday, May 27. For more information, contact Toi N. Degree, family and consumer education agent at the Rowan County Cooperative Extension office.